The 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (July 5-10) coincides with the start of NBA free agency this year. There has been concern from the French team that forward Nicolas Batum will be unable to play in the tournament as he determines his next career move in the States. Yet, they list Batum on their 17-man roster, and rumors have surfaced that the 27-year-old will quickly re-sign with the Charlotte Hornets, which would allow him to participate in the tournament.
Batum's agent had previously indicated that his client, a free agent who just had a terrific first season with the Charlotte Hornets, would be in the United States resolving his NBA future and that the paperwork would not be finalized in time for him to play.
However, it is understood that the French player and the Hornets will quickly agree terms on a new deal and that could could give France enough time to obtain insurance for Batum and allow him to take part in some of the OQT games.
The idea of luring Batum back to Portland has been a topic of discussion among Blazers fans, but if this report holds truth, it may put those conversations to bed. Batum had the best season of his career in Charlotte, averaging a career-high 14.9 points and 5.8 assists per game, helping lead the Hornets to an NBA playoff berth.